Backtracking Palm cultivation initiatives harmful to industry | Daily News

Backtracking Palm cultivation initiatives harmful to industry

The Palm Oil industry is in a quandary since there is regulation to stop all new plantations Chairman, Planters’ Association of Ceylon Bhathiya Bulumulla told a webinar yesterday.

Speaking at a virtual press conference conducted over video conferencing, he asserted that the then government that was in power in 2014 encouraged the Oil Palm plantations and nurseries with over one million saplings were planted due to this assurance. “However the new government has backtracked this and have put a stop to new plantations without even consulting the Plantation Associations,” said Balumulla.

He said that the previous government from 2005 to 2015 encouraged the Palm oil industry as it saves around Rs. 29 billion incurred on imports of Palm oil. “What we appeal to the government is to allow the existing plants in nurseries to be planted or the plantation companies will suffer huge losses and all the plants too would have to be destroyed.”

Sri Lanka’s importation of vegetable oil rose to 220,000 MT at a cost of approximately Rs. 30 billion in 2019. Crucially, opponents of oil palm cultivation in Sri Lanka remain totally silent on this fact. This despite the reason for the expansion of sustainable oil palm cultivation through the replacement of unprofitable rubber cultivation in Sri Lanka was triggered as a response to the large and growing volume and value of vegetable oil imports to the island. He also said that the Yahapalana government stopped, however again gave permission to use glycoside fertiliser after several years which resulted in a huge drop on tea sales to Japan and recovery measures are still going on.

The Indian government is currently involved in massive investments to expand oil palm production and announced a Special Programme on Oil Palm Area Expansion as part of an aggressive push for edible-oil security, aiming to augment domestic palm oil production capacity by 300,000 metric tons within five years.